Should WE get a
A prenuptial agreement is a written contract that a couple makes before and in contemplation of marriage. A well-drafted prenuptial agreement sets the rules by which a married couple operates should they ever separate and/or divorce down the road. The purpose of a prenup is to set out the terms of the couple’s assets and debts, including property and future earnings and how they should be distributed if the marriage is dissolved.
If you are considering marriage, yes. And do it early, since there are legal consequences for signing a prenup too close to your wedding.
It may be the least-fun part of your wedding planning, but the reality is that divorce rates are too high to ignore. According to analysts and attorneys:
41%-50% of first-time marriages end in divorce
60-67% of second marriages end in divorce
About 74% of third marriages fail
Unfortunately, many marriages don’t have a fairy tale ending. Those divorcing couples who entered into a valid prenuptial agreement before getting married have a document that provides certainty as to their rights, minimizes conflict and legal costs. A well-drafted prenup is like a roadmap that helps both spouses find the path of least resistance and conflict amidst the emotional turmoil of the separation and divorce process.
Smart, responsible adults routinely prepare for disasters as an obvious part of their everyday lives, but they generally protect against catastrophic events that have less than a 5% chance of occurring. The chances of a “marital disaster” approach 50% or higher, so every marrying couple should at least consider getting a prenup.
More and more couples are choosing to Love Smarter, as the number of people with a fiancé or spouse who reported having a prenuptial agreement increased by 300% from 2002 and 2010 (according to studies conducted by Harris Interactive).
A couple can freely enter into a prenuptial agreement that governs their property interests, income, expenses, spousal maintenance, what happens to their property upon their death, and any other terms that are not “unconscionable,” in violation of public policy, or would constitute a crime. Premarital agreement terms regarding future child custody and child support are not enforceable.
A TALE OF TWO WEDDINGS
Prenuptial agreements come in all shapes and sizes. Some people merely want to protect the property that they have acquired prior to marriage as sole and separate property but agree that all income earned during the marriage is community property. Other people desire to enter into a more involved premarital agreement whereby their individual incomes earned after marriage remain his or her sole and separate property. Some people merely desire to agree that an agreed-upon amount of spousal maintenance (alimony) will be paid in the event of divorce, or no alimony at all.
A prenup can protect your assets, your business, your wealth and your loved ones. A premarital agreement also can be used to shield you from any debts your spouse incurs or brings to the marriage.